Monthly Archives: October 2012

Office Closing Early October 29, 2012

We will be closing at 3:00pm on Monday, October 29, 2012 due to weather conditions. We plan on reopening Tuesday, October 30, 2012 at 8:00am. If we will be opening late on Tuesday morning, we will notify patients immediately.

Is your child’s backpack too heavy?

Here in Fauquier County, we’re already a quarter of the way through the school year. Yesterday marked the end of the first nine weeks of school, and today is the start of the second nine weeks.

Students enjoyed a half-day yesterday, but it’s back to normal today. And, for many students, “normal” includes a heavy backpack, weighted with books and homework assignments. Some students carry 30 pounds or more on a daily basis. This is enough weight to literally compress the discs within the spine. It’s really not surprising, then, that some students develop back pain, shoulder pain and/or neck pain over the course of the school year. In fact, one study found that more than one third of middle-school-aged students complained of back pain.

Prevent back pain from back packs

  • The American Chiropractic Association recommends limiting backpack weight to no more than 10% of a child’s weight.
  • The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons recommends choosing backpacks with padded backs and two wide, padded shoulder straps.
  • Encourage your child to always use both shoulder straps.
  • Encourage your child to only carry the minimum number of text books, papers, etc.
  • If possible, consider purchasing duplicate copies of your child’s heaviest text books, and keeping the spare book at home.
  • Consider a rolling backpack.

Is your child carrying too heavy a load?

If your child leans forward to carry his or her backpack, then it is likely the load is too much. Encourage your child to tell you if he or she is feeling discomfort or pain from carrying their backpack. And, do not ignore any sign of pain; back pain in childhood can lead to back pain as an adult.

If you cannot find a way to lighten your child’s load, or if the pain is not subsiding, please give us a call. We can offer recommendations for strength-building exercises. We will also determine whether there may be other issues contributing to the back pain.

This advice applies to you too!

Adults are not immune to back pain from carrying heavy loads. Over-weighted briefcases, shoulder bags and purses can cause or contribute to back pain, neck pain and shoulder pain. If you suspect your bag may be causing problems, we can help you find pain-free solutions.

You Can Change Someone’s Life

Please join us, in conjunction with the American Red Cross, on Monday, October 29, 2012 from 9am to 3pm as we donate blood to benefit those in need in our community.


Supply is low and donors are needed. Jump on the bus with us and you could save a life!

Join us! Free shoulder lecture at Fauquier Hospital

Shoulders can be troublesome. They’re our most flexible joint, which means they’re also our most unstable joint. From little strains to serious dislocations, shoulder injuries are common. Rotator cuff tears, alone, affect nearly 2 million people every year in the United States.

With all that mobility — and potential for injury — shoulders and their care can raise a lot of questions. Is that sore shoulder nothing to worry about, or a symptom of something more serious? Will that pulled muscle heal on its own? Do you need ice or surgery?

If you have questions about shoulder care, injuries or treatment, we have answers for you. Here, at Blue Ridge Orthopaedic and Spine Center, several of our surgeons specialize in shoulder care and treatment. We’re able to resolve many shoulder complaints without surgery. And, on those occasions when surgery is necessary, we’re often able to use minimally invasive arthroscopic techniques.

Join us Thursday, October 18 at 7pm in the Sycamore Room at Fauquier Hospital for a free shoulder care lecture by Dr. Ralph Garretson, one of our shoulder specialists. Dr. Garretson will share information and advice about shoulder care and function, diagnosis, treatment and recovery. He will also answer any additional questions about shoulders you may have.

Please RSVP for our free shoulder lecture by calling 540-316-3588 or registering online through Fauquier Hospital’s online calendar (click on the October 18 listing for Shoulder Pain)

Reduce Your Risk of Breast Cancer

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and a great time to learn about ways to help reduce your risk of breast cancer. Some women are more prone to breast cancer due to risk factors that include; a family history of breast cancer, menstration before age twelve, meonpause after age fifty-five, inherited gene metations, pregnancy of first child after age thrity-five, overweight, and older age. Research has found that diet and exercise can play a key role in protecting women against breast cancer. Foods high in dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients can protect against some cancers. For more information on how to eat healthier and reduce your risk of breast cancer and other diseases, contact our registered dietitian at Blue Ridge Orthopaedic & Spine Center and visit